Marco Scutaro was beloved by the fans. Mr. Dlutch came through time and time again with winning walk-off hit after winning walk-off hit. One of Scutaro’s most memorable moments for the Oakland A’s was in the 2006 ALDS against the Minnesota Twins. Scutaro’s bases-clearing double in Game Three broke the game open and broke the A’s decade-long curse, helping send the A’s to the ALCS.

Scutaro was an invaluable utility infielder who became an every day infielder thanks to injuries to the A’s middle infield. Sure, business is business, but GM Billy Beane must have had a hard time pulling the trigger on trading Scutaro to the Toronto Blue Jays following the 2007 season.

Then again, it must have been hard NOT to trade Marco Scutaro when his salary kept going up, as well as his value. Scutaro had made many memories for the A’s, but each memory was getting more expensive for the low-budget A’s.

At the start of the 2009 season, oft-injured and presumably healthy Bobby Crosby was trained as a utility player. Not exactly a cheap replacement with his $5 million plus salary, but Crosby wasn’t doing enough every day to help keep the A’s afloat.

After the 2009 season, Crosby was also off the books, and the A’s needed to find what they had been lacking since trading away Marco Scutaro: a super sub who goes above and beyond the call of duty as a “backup” player.

Enter Adam Rosales.

On February 1, the A’s acquired Adam Rosales in bad contracts trade. The A’s gave Cincinnati Aaron Miles, whom they had acquired from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Rosales and Willy Taveras, who was released almost immediately.

The collective response from the A’s fan base of Rosales’ acquisition was “um… yay?” More was made of why the A’s were willing to eat Tavaras’ contract than the acquisition of Rosales. The common comparisons made were: Rosales plays all out, like former A’s outfielder Eric Brynes, and he wears number seven at shortstop, just like Bobby Crosby.

He’s not Eric Byrnes. He’s not Bobby Crosby. He’s Adam Rosales. And he could very well be Marco Scutaro, too.

During Spring Training, Rosales almost stole the everyday shortstop job from Cliff Pennington with his performance. There was plenty of buzz in camp about how Rosales sprints to first base after a walk or around the bases after hitting a home run. There was a lot to like about Rosales.

There still is.

While Mark Ellis was out this season nursing his hamstrings, Rosales filled in admirably at second base—not unlike Marco scutaro. When Mark Ellis finally returned from the D.L., Rosales handed the job back to Ellis without making an error there Ellis’ absence. What has Rosales done since? He’s spelled Kevin Kouzmanoff at third base, he’s spelled Cliff Pennington at shortstop, and he’s even filled in in the outfield, allowing Ryan Sweeney to get needed time off.

While playing “musical fielders” all over the field, Rosales has been a valuable bat as well. He’s batting .281 with on-base percentage of .344. Rosales’ four home runs are tied for the team lead. Rosales has batted all over the lineup, and there’s been talk of letting him hit leadoff.

Super Utility, thy name is Rosales. It might be a good thing though that the A’s have all the catching help they need.

Rosales is good. Did Beane know was he was getting this offseason in that trade, or did he just strike gold? Either way, the A’s are cashing in. Rosales is making it very easy for the A’s to stomach the fact that Scutaro turned down their multi-year offer to resign this past offseason.

The best news is that Rosales is young and cheap. Hopefully the A’s hold onto him for a while. Finding the next Marco Scutaro took a while. Finding the next Adam Rosales might take a bit longer.

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